Wrinkles in Pool Liner

We just installed a 27' pool, we thought we got a lot of the wrinkles out and what was there would go out as the pool filled.

HELP, the pool is full and still lots of wrinkles. We figure we have to drain the pool, but can you give us some hints once it is empty, how to work some of the wrinkles out?



Hi. The best way to keep wrinkles out of an above ground pool is to stretch the liner in. This page shows a liner being stretched into a pool. Above Ground Pool Liner Installation

If you have not cut skimmer and return openings into your new liner it would be easy to drain it and stretch it into the pool. Once the openings have been cut I would not completely drain the pool. Your best bet would be to drain down to about an inch and try working the wrinkles out. You can do this by getting on your hands and knees, and starting in the center, work the wrinkles to the wall in all directions. This can be very effective when done in full, direct, sunlight. If the liner is warm enough you should be able to push the wrinkles out and smooth the bottom of the liner.

Doing this could cause slack to appear on the sides and you will probably have to take the rails off and reset the liner around the top. The only area you will not be able to reset is the skimmer section. Any sidewall wrinkles in this area will have to stay there, but you should be able to smooth all the rest of the pool.

If you have a beaded liner you might want to follow the instructions on this page.

Beaded Liner Installation

A combination of working the bottom flat on your hands and knees, and using the vacuum may do the trick. If extra liner still exists on the sidewalls you could always pull it over the wall and, with the use of coping strips, make it an overlap liner.

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Wrinkle in Liner

by Adele Bradford
(Britain)

We have installed our 18 ft round Doughboy pool and it looks amazing. The only problem we have is we installed the liner and it fits perfectly, however, there is one area where we could have pulled the liner over the top rail a bit more.

It's an overlap liner, but it's wrinkled a little in this one area. The pool is full and being used. Is it safe to take off the section were the problem is so that we are able to pull it over the top rail a little? Or will the pool need to be drained? Is it safe to take off top rails when the pool is full? Thanks



Hi Adele. Yes, it is safe to take off top rails when the pool is full, they do not hold the pool together. The pool will normally expand just a little in this area and it may take several people and a little pushing to get the holes in the top rails to line back up again. Some top plates have multiple hole sets for different size pools. I have had to use a different set of holes on occasion, but never had any problems beyond that.

removing above ground pool top rail


If for some reason you were not able to pull the top rail back into place you could always drain a foot or so of water out of the pool. Taking just a little pressure off the top of the pool would make a lot of difference.

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Wrinkles in Expandable Liner

by Glenn Golden
(Robesonia, Pa.)

We are trying to install an expandable liner in a 27FT. round above ground pool with a 2 ft. dug out deep end. The walls are up and the deep end is filled with no wrinkles but now the flat part has major wrinkles. What do we need to do to fix this problem?



Hi Glenn. There are several solutions. You could do it over again, drain the water and re-stretch the liner. If you did not have direct over head sun light the first time, you could try it again and maybe have better results. The best time to install an expandable liner is when the majority of the pool is in direct sunlight.

Once wrinkles start to appear in a deep end liner I am installing I do a couple of things. When I first see a problem develop I try to pull the liner up over the rail a little tighter, or even shift the liner a little in one direction or the other. If I see that it needs more stretch, but it keeps slipping down on its own, I cloths pin the liner to the top rail. Stretching a liner into place without wrinkles can be very tricky at times. The brand of liner, the temperature and the amount of sunlight all play part in the success of the installation.

When I see that wrinkles are going to happen no matter what I do I get in the pool immediately. You can work the wrinkles out fairly flat if you start soon enough and start at the point the wrinkle starts. Direct overhead sunlight helps immensely in this process also. Normally, once I make the decision to get in the pool, I am there until the water gets to the side. I never leave wrinkles in a pool but sometimes there are ripples. The ripples are what is left when a wrinkle has been worked out. Ripples are much better than wrinkles, if you had to choose between the two.

These pages might help also.

Expandable Liner Installation

Vinyl Liner Replacement

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Wrinkles in Expandable Liner

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May 21, 2018
Extra liner
by: Anonymous

We have about 7 inches of extra liner left, I don't like the looks of it and was wonder what is normal for this. I tried rolling it up underneath and you can still see the blue on the pretty white pool!


Hi We fold all the excess liner back into the pool and leave an even two inches hanging over the wall. It looks nice that way.

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Wrinkles in Vinyl Liner

by Michele

I just had my 18 x 33 above ground pool installed and the whole bottom is very bumpy and the liner is wrinkled in lots of places. Is that okay?

Should I leave it the way it is or try to make them fix it?



Hi Michele. My Installations all have smooth bottoms and are wrinkle free.

smooth liner installation
There is an art and a science to it, and after nearly 40 years, perfection is easy for me. It was not always that way and you have to start somewhere. I am guessing your installers were not old veterans.

There are a few drawbacks to having a lumpy pool base. It will be uncomfortable on your feet when you are swimming and stubbing a toe is easy to do. The deeper the holes and the bigger the wrinkles the harder it is to keep clean. In bad cases it can be nearly impossible to get all the dirt out of the pool. If you ever get a case of algae, getting rid of it becomes that much harder. Depending on how bad the job is an automatic pool cleaner may be unable to move freely around the pool. And lastly, the liner will not last as long as one with a smooth base.

If you used a sand base you could drain the pool and smooth it out. The weight of the water does an amazing job of packing the sand and it should stay smoother as you work the liner back into place.

The other option is to live with it until your first liner change and then get it done correctly, without any wrinkles and a smooth base.

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Above Ground Pool Beaded Liner Wrinkles

by Patty
(Westchester, Il.)

Hi Pool Pro, I had a pool installed last week. I was in it vacuuming today and noticed there are a few spots where the beaded liner is wrinkled, but on the side walls. I may have had a few wrinkles in the old pool, but on the bottom. I have never seen this on the side walls. Should I be concerned? Will this affect the performance of the liner?

Hi Patty Having no wrinkles on the bottom is the most important thing. The bottom gets a lot more wear and tear than the sides. Wrinkles on the bottom also make cleaning difficult.

Wrinkles on the side of the liner may be unavoidable by the installer. Keeping them out of the bottom is the most important thing. In doing so that may mean having them on the sides. Beaded liners that are slightly too large will have wrinkles somewhere. The sides are the best place to leave the excess liner.

It's possible the install was at fault but more often than not it is the liner being a little big for the pool.

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Liner Problems

I have a 24 ft round pool. I have had some trouble putting it up. I have had to take it down three times. I now have the pool ready to finish this time. But, when I put the liner up this time I have a crap load of twists in the wall part.

I have tried to pull them out at the base and the wall but it just does not seem to do anything. Do you think I need to replace the liner and start new, or is there a way to get the twists out of the liner?



Hi. If the liner is new, as in never been filled with water and never had a skimmer hole cut, I would go ahead and use it. The best way to install a liner into an above ground pool is to stretch it. There pages show how that is done.

Above Ground Pool Liner Installation

Expandable Liner Installation

If the liner has the skimmer opening cut, and you are trying to line that back up, the best I can say is to make use of the sun and try it during the hottest part of the day. Vinyl is much easier to work with when it's hot.

above ground pool liner installation


Make good use of cloths pins, they help a lot.

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